Niagara Community Paramedic Program
Community paramedicine is an evolving model of community-based health care that:
- Allows paramedics to work outside their traditional emergency response and transport
- Gives patients an alternative to a family doctor, walk-in clinic and emergency department
- Offers preventative, at-home health care visits
The purpose of the Community Paramedic Program is to:
- Reduce avoidable use of ambulance and emergency services
- Reduce the number of low acuity patients in the emergency department transported by paramedics
- Enable vulnerable, at-risk individuals and older adults to live safely in their own homes
- Reduce the use of more costly care, such as acute care hospitals and long-term care
- Provide people with the right care, at the right place and time. This will improve health outcomes, quality of life and increased satisfaction with healthcare.
Scope and Practice
An advanced care paramedic, also referred to as a community paramedic, has an expanded scope of practice and can provide clients with:
- Health assessments on request. This may include taking vital signs like:
- Pulse and breathing rate
- Blood pressure
- More advanced tests, including blood sugar checks and electrocardiogram
- Medical risk assessment for clients who may not feel safe at home. This assessment may result in referrals to appropriate community agencies.
- Pre-treatment blood work and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and congestive heart failure exacerbations
- Chronic disease management
- Medication management
- Care coordination with primary care and other agencies the client may be involved with
- Referrals to community resources and programs
- Community Paramedic remote patient monitoring. People who are diagnosed with congested heart failure, diabetes and / or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will be monitored remotely through technology to recognize exacerbations and trends. This helps to improve patients health awareness and decrease dependency on emergency services and hospitals admissions.
The Community Paramedic program sees:
- High risk clients living with complex medical issues such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congested heart failure
- Co-morbidities who have visited the emergency department at least five times in the previous year
Wainfleet Community Response Unit
Niagara Emergency Medical Services provide a Community Response Unit in the Township of Wainfleet.
The Community Response Unit has two purposes:
- To respond to all emergency medical 9-1-1 calls as a first response unit while an ambulance is on the way
- To be an additional health resource to the Township of Wainfleet
Like the Community Paramedic Program, the Wainfleet Community Response Unit is staffed with a Community Paramedic. It offers the same services as mentioned above for any resident in Wainfleet who needs additional support to stay at home safely.
Call 905-984-5050 ext. 2885 for more information about the Community Paramedic Program or the Wainfleet Community Response Unit, or if you would like to make a referral.
In a medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.